Words by Jesse Serwer
Vincy Mas might not have the same international prestige as Trinidad Carnival, Crop Over or Spice Mas, but St. Vincent’s annual festival, which kicks off today before climaxing July 8, has been the source of some of the biggest soca in recent years. Much of that has been on account of Skinny Fabulous, who has been holding the torch for Vincy soca with tracks like “Head Bad,” “Monster” and Machel Montano collaboration “Duracell Plus” and a tough, dancehall-influenced style not unlike Trinidad’s Bunji Garlin (Skinny studied at UWI, and has worked with Jamaican producers Daseca and Truckback).
Released during the Trinidad Carnival season at the tail end of 2013, his “Behaving the Worst” was even considered a contender for this year’s Groovy Soca Monarch title in Trinidad. Skinny ultimately lost out in T&T to Kerwin Du Bois’ “Too Real,” but the track has continued running throughout the Caribbean. As with many of his tracks, the tune was produced by Skinny’s secret weapon, producer Alex “Kubiyashi” Barnwell. Active since 2001, Kubiyashi’s name has been gaining currency over the last year thanks to EDM-meets-soca collaborations with Bunji Garlin and Major Lazer (he co-produced Bunji’s “It’s A Carnival” with Major Lazer) and Machel Montano (for whom he and Skinny Fabulous co-wrote “Happiest Man Alive”).
The pair have since gone on to release a string of tunes for this year’s Vincy Mas, making Skinny Fabulous all but a shoe in for this year’s Soca Monarch title. Stream Skinny and Kubiyashi’s latest tunes, including “Party Hardcore,” which was co-produced by Diplo, and get the Vincy Mas vibes going whether you’re in Kingstown, Kingston, or Kings County.